Bet­ter days ahead

NCU re­ceives in­sti­tu­tional ac­cred­i­ta­tion

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ta­mara Bai­ley/Gleaner Writer

WITH NEWS of a fi­nan­cial cri­sis fol­low­ing years of a de­crease in en­rol­ment com­ing to pub­lic at­ten­tion re­cently, North­ern Caribbean Univer­sity (NCU) is re­veal­ing that brighter days are ahead, hav­ing re­ceived in­sti­tu­tional ac­cred­i­ta­tion from the Univer­sity Coun­cil of Ja­maica.

The ac­cred­i­ta­tion, which takes ef­fect on Fe­bru­ary 17, 2019, au­gurs well for NCU as it en­hances mar­ketabil­ity, makes grad­u­ates more em­ploy­able, and al­lows cred­its earned by stu­dents to be trans­fer­able to other schools.

“NCU now stands as the sec­ond in­sti­tu­tion in Ja­maica to re­ceive in­sti­tu­tional ac­cred­i­ta­tion from the Univer­sity Coun­cil of Ja­maica ... . All the pro­grammes that we of­fer here at NCU have now been ac­cred­ited, and that is im­por­tant be­cause we will re­ceive wider in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion,” said Dr Lin­coln Ed­wards, pres­i­dent of the in­sti­tu­tion.

EN­ROL­MENT IN­CREASE

Ed­wards, who was speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence on Thurs­day at the in­sti­tu­tion’s main cam­pus, said that the in­sti­tu­tion has in­ten­si­fied its ef­forts to in­creases en­rol­ment and has so far seen an in­crease of well over 100 stu­dents for the aca­demic year 2018-2019.

“We hav­ing been work­ing hard to sen­si­tise the pub­lic that NCU of­fers a val­ues-based ed­u­ca­tion ... . We have won the busi­ness-model com­pe­ti­tion, and no other in­sti­tu­tion in the Caribbean has won that. There are sev­eral other awards that we have won ... . We do be­lieve we have a won­der­ful prod­uct here at NCU,” he noted.

Ed­wards re­vealed that the in­sti­tu­tion is work­ing with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion to re­ceive ap­proval through the Amer­i­can Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion for stu­dents to use their fed­eral aid to at­tend NCU.

He said that the in­sti­tu­tion has so far re­ceived ap­proval for US Army veter­ans to use their vet­eran’s aid to study there.

While many con­tinue to be­moan the cost of the in­sti­tu­tion’s of­fer­ings, Ed­wards re­mains con­vinced that the school is do­ing the best it can with­out a gov­ern­ment sub­sidy and is of the be­lief that peo­ple will pay for qual­ity.

He added that there are sev­eral ini­tia­tives in place for stu­dents who need help fund­ing their ed­u­ca­tion. One such ini­tia­tive is RES­CUE (Restor­ing Every Stu­dent’s Con­fi­dence Us­ing Ed­u­ca­tion), and there are work-and-study pro­grammes.

The in­sti­tu­tion will, for the first time, host the Third Uni­ver­si­ties of the In­ter-Amer­i­can Di­vi­sion Re­search Con­fer­ence from March 27 to 30, where 15 ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions af­fil­i­ated with the In­ter-Amer­i­can Di­vi­sion of Sev­enth-day Ad­ven­tists will be rep­re­sented, along with 50 over­seas pre­sen­ters and 25 lo­cal coun­ter­parts.

In 2019, the univer­sity will also be hav­ing a year-long cel­e­bra­tion for its 100th an­niver­sary.

Dr Lin­coln Ed­wards, pres­i­dent of North­ern Caribbean Univer­sity.

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